Traveling overseas: Guide to a safe and healthy trip

Always carry your passport and a few travel money options.

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When traveling, you have the opportunity to view the world from an entirely new perspective and learn about other people and their customs. Incorporating the following tips for traveling internationally can help you get the most out of your experience.

International travel tips

    1. Get the proper immunizations.
      You must undergo certain immunizations before you can travel to some countries. Ask a doctor about any precautions you should take before traveling. Malaria pills are a prime example if you are visiting Asian countries close to the tropics where the malaria-carrying mosquito is common. Even if immunization is expensive, you must prep yourself to be safe.
    1. Be wary of tainted water.
      In many countries, water is highly contaminated. You might see locals drinking it, but they have built up an immunity to its impurities. Be very careful what you drink or you could end up quite ill. If bottled water is not available, you should boil the water first – or resort to chlorine tablets.
    1. Make room for a small medical kit.
      Your basic medical kit should contain a supply of over-the-counter painkillers, hand sanitizers, band-aids, as well as any prescribed medication you may have to take. It is a good idea to take enough prescribed medication with you to last your entire trip no matter where you’ll be traveling. Pharmacies might not be as readily available and you might need to visit a local doctor in order to get your medication.
    1. Save money on flights.
      With an airline or a travel credit card, you can earn miles on your everyday purchases. When the time comes, redeem your miles for flights or seat upgrades. Depending on the card, you can also save money on checked bags, priority boarding and lounge access.
    1. Get the right travel money option.
      You have several money options when traveling abroad, no-foreign transaction-fee credit cards, debit cards, travel or prepaid cards and cash. Relying on a single payment method may not be a wise choice. Instead, opt-in for a combination of two or more — for example a credit card for purchases and a debit card for ATM withdrawals.
Updated October 14th, 2019
Name Product Foreign transaction fee Welcome offer Rewards Filter values
None
75,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
None
20,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1.25x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
None
N/A
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
None
60,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a Delta purchase in the same timeframe
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
Earn 60,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, plus $50 when you make a direct Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
None
75,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months plus $100 when you make a Delta purchase in the same timeframe
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles for all other purchases
Earn 75,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months plus $100 when you make a Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees

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    1. Carry the proper documentation.
      Your personal identification documents proving you’re a US citizen entitled to be in a foreign country should always be on hand. Make copies of all your documents and put them in a safe, accessible place. Take another set with you as a back-up while you travel.You’ll need:
      • Emergency contacts. This list could contain friends you know in the country you are visiting, the US Embassy in that country, and contacts back home so that your identity can be verified.
      • Insurance policies. Especially your travel and health insurances.
      • Accommodation details. You should have addresses and phone numbers, booking details, dates and payment confirmation of where you’re staying.
      • All your travel plans. This should include flights, booking references, dates, times and payment confirmations.
      • Your passport. Guard this and your visa, if you have one, as proof of approval to enter the countries you’re visiting.
    1. Find out if you’ll need a Visa.
      For some countries, you may need to acquire a visa or a work and residence permit in order to enter the country. This may cost you additional money and time. Some countries require you to get a visa before arriving, so make sure you arrange an appointment at your local consulate of the destination country.
    1. Consider travel insurance.
      Most travel credit cards come with a host of travel insurance perks, including travel accident insurance on a common carrier, trip cancellation insurance, lost or delayed baggage reimbursement and car rental collision damage waiver. But if your card has no travel insurance, consider purchasing one separately.
Name Product Trip Cancellation Emergency Medical Expenses Baggage Coverage Trip delay
100%
$15,000
$500
$500
Essential travel coverage — with the option to customize — that can protect the cost of your trip.
$10,000
$1,000
$100
Protect the cost of your flight and choose the coverage amount that meets your needs — trip delay protection included.
$50,000
$2,000
$1,000
Budget-friendly policy designed for international and domestic travelers who want medical protection. Trip cancellation and trip interruption not included.
$20,000
$1,000
$600
Annual policy that offers affordable protection, but doesn't include trip cancellation or trip interruption.
100%
$15,000
$750
$500
Basic policy with coverage that includes trip cancellation insurance, tourist health insurance and baggage insurance.

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  1. Cover your tracks.
    Before leaving, make sure you have someone visit your home periodically to get your mail, take care of your pets and turn a light on at night. This could be a relative or a friend, but you could arrange to pay a neighbor a small amount to help you out. Also, try to refrain from posting on social media that you won’t be at home.

Did you know?

The government provides a service that lets citizens notify the closest US Embassy or Consulate about their trip. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is free and can contact you in the event of an emergency, get you in touch with friends or family and offer general safety tips.

Bottom line

The adventure and the unknown can certainly make your travel more fun and enjoyable. But it’s always best to be prepared. Consider following our international travel tips and you should be fine wherever you go.

Also, make sure you choose your travel money options so you can always have access to your funds.

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